Slide 8: NANCI TC FIG. 11-12 MUCOUS CELLS 7th ED. In comparison, these are your mucous cells. As you look at the mucus cells, the cells look washed-out.
They’re really carb
ohydrate in nature and if you use like PAS staining, you can see the cytoplasm much
more prominent or evident. The nuclei are at the base and they’re kind of flattened in nature. And also the
lumen of the mucus alveoli happens to be much larger than those of the serous alveoli. Slide 9: NANCI TC FIG. 11-15 MUCOUS CELL 7th ED.
Here’s your diagrammatic version. Similar to the serous cells, these droplets contain mucus and not enzymes. And again, they’re going to fuse with the cell membrane and then eventually release to the outside…sort of like exocytosis process. Here’s the nucleus at the base and it’s rather flattened in nature. The cells also have organelles. You can see some mitochondria present. Here’s your rER…that’s the Golgi
apparatus and the nucleus is elongated in nature. These cells are also held together tightly by desmosomes to prevent any sort of leakage from happening. You look at the base of this cell, you can see some infoldings but not as much as in the serous cells Slide 10: SEROUS CELL C FIG. 15-5 MUCOUS CELL C FIG. 15-6 4th ED.
Here’s a comparison of the two cell types. Here’s your serous cell and here’s your mucous cell. They’re
somewhat similar in shape. Serous cell
has your round circular nucleus, there’s your flat nucleus of the
mucus. And both cells do have organelles. Slide 11:
NANCI TC FIG. 11-33 SALIVARY GLAND ORGANIZATION
So there’s the general introduction in terms of the types of cells you are going to find associated with the
major and the minor salivary glands. Now I like to discuss the functions of the salivary glands. Number 1,
they’re going to
maintain the integrity, the well being of the oral cavity. And if you have a deficiency in the
amount of saliva being produced, you’re gonna have problems with lubrication, swallowing, speaking etc.
And this you can easily see when you talk to an elderly patient. So saliva provides a fluid environment, which lubrication takes place. You have a medium for swallowing and the food begins to solubilize, which
means it begins to break down…become more liquid and not so solid in nature. The saliva acts as a buffe
It’s a buffer to acidity, temperature, or other stresses. And yes when you’re eating a slice of pizza, it’s suppose to bring your temperature down but you’re consuming the pizza so quickly that there’s not enough
time to drop the temperature
so you don’t burn your palate. But nevertheless, it’s still a buffer. The pH in terms of the oral cavity is around a 8, when you get to the stomach you’re at a 3, and when you get to the small intestine it becomes more of a 8 again. So you’re having a switch back
between different pH environment. The saliva is protective in nature. One type of protection is to lubricate the oral cavity, it sort
of gives you a mucus coating and that’s your protection. When it comes to bacteria, it causes the bacteria to
clump together and once the bacteria clump together, it becomes difficult to adhere to the tooth enamel. The other type of protection is against minor trauma, it acts as a barrier, protection against microbial toxins,
resist wear and tear. And let’s not forget the protec
tive nature in terms of the presence of bacteria by
causing the bacteria to clump together; that’s an important function. The process of chemical digestion
begins in the oral cavity and here you have your serous cells releasing enzymes, which begins the digestion
of carbohydrates. So you’ll find enzymes like maltase which tends to break down carbohydrates to maltose
and then your salivary amylase breaks down your C-12 sugar down to C-6 sugar like glucose. So the process of digestion of carbohydrates has just begun. Then we have the function of taste. Now your taste
can distinguish between something that tastes good and things that don’t taste good. If it doesn’t taste good, you don’t eat it. In terms of protection against the growth of mic
roorganisms besides the mucus, we
have other factors that play an important role. One is lysozyme and from the name you know it’s an
enzyme. And when this enzyme is released by your serous cells, it tends to affect
permeability…it messes it up. And
eventually leads to the death of the bacteria. Another substance called lactoferrin binds iron. And the significance of this is that certain bacteria require iron to survive and if you remove the iron from the oral cavity, these special groups of bacteria
don’t make it and die off. So you’re really inhibiting bacterial growth again. Then there’s another enzyme called lactoperoxidase and this
enzyme actually goes into the bacterial cell and modifies bacterial enzymes so that bacterial growth is inhibited. Immunoglobulins have the same effect as mucus does, it causes the bacteria to clump together
and then the bacteria are unable to stick to your enamel. Tooth integrity is something one doesn’t normally think of…when primary dentin formation is complete, the
tooth has erupted into the oral cavity. You have your clinical crown, the enamel is covering and protecting the tooth but the enamel is not fully mineralized.